Profiles A SHREWD JUDGE OF HORSEFLESH

Dalroy Field is a horsetrader who deals with customers from as far away as Brazil and as near as his next door neighbor.

From the time he sold his first horse, a gray mare, at age 15, and made a profit of $135, Dalroy has kept his business going by trying to make a dollar on every horse he sells. It doesn’t make any difference to Dalroy who you are or how you are dressed. “Anybody that’s got any money, I’ll try ’em,” he says, grinning the best he can with one cheek swollen the size of a tennis ball by the wad of chewing tobacco he’s got stuck in there.

In his part of the country – Aubrey, 40 miles north of Dallas – everybody knows Dalroy. They remember how he chewed tobacco even in elementary school – the only kid his age who indulged. “I can’t help it if they wasn’t tough enough to chew it,” he says with another lopsided grin. Folks still swear Dalroy never spits.

He buys and sells everything from multi-thousand dollar horses to the $100 “Dalroy Special,” the plug that sometimes ends up in a Fort Worth factory to be made, he says, into meat for human consumption in France.

His mind instantly figures prices, weight, pedigree and possible buyers. He says he can remember every horse he has ever seen, owned or sold in a sale, as well as its pedigree and who bought it last.

“You really try to make a little on every horse,” Dalroy says, explaining what goes on as the traders mingle, chew, spit, whittle and dicker. “But horse-traders don’t cheat one another – there’s supposed to be honor among thieves,” he says with a sly grin.

One of Dalroy’s horses is on the block. Bidding has slowed considerably and there is danger the price won’t go much higher. He grabs the microphone from the auctioneer’s hand and cries out in anguish, “Why the man I bought that horse from said she’s dead dog gentle. He said she is so broke you could pick up eggs on her!”

Screwing up his face in extreme consternation, he shouts out his final righteous plea, “That horse is worth more!”

Every trader says these things when his horse is on the block and nobody ever listens. The interruption does serve to stall for time, however, and bidding often resumes and climbs higher than it would have otherwise.

And Dalroy Field has done pretty well for himself. Three years ago a local roper, Bobby Seals of Ponder, brought some Brazilian sugarland farmers to Dalroy’s barn. They were shopping for horses to take home to Brazil. Since then Dalroy and Bobby have sold more than 300 horses to the Brazilians, who pay from $1,000 to $40,000 a horse.



It all helps keep Dalroy’s hobby alive. Hobby? Yes, Dalroy’s full-time job is manager of the Davis Cattle Co., a cow ranch between Dallas and Piano, owned by Wirt Davis III of Dallas, a 40-plus-hour-a-week job in which Dalroy rides the range hunting cattle, vaccinating, worming and branding them, baling hay and other chores.



Nights and weekends he travels the country to horse sales and trades horses at home – and runs his own sale the second Saturday of every month in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. The combined income of his two operations plus his wife Nona’s salary as business skills teacher at the McKinney Job Corps Center, provide them and their two children, Roy, 7, and Amy, 5, with the kind of life they want.



As for the white collar businessman who complains because he puts in a 50-to 60-hour week, Dalroy says, “He’s got a nice job.”

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